I attended my first American Supply Association (ASA) Women in Industry Conference this past week, and it was definitely all I hoped it would be. It was 3 days of networking with 155 women (and 4 men) from across the industry, in addition to informative meetings and educational sessions.
The 2017 Conference kicked off with a great mentoring informational meeting where attendees discussed different approaches to developing a mentor/mentee relationship.
One of the key takeaways from the meeting was realizing that networking is not about you; it’s about bringing other people together. The women in the room stressed the importance of increasing networking opportunities so that mentor/mentee relationships are a natural progression. When women have an opportunity to network, they walk away with connections from a pool of people who are subject matter experts in variety of skillsets and knowledge base. It’s a win/win for all.
I thought this was a great idea and would love to hear from women in the industry – any part of the industry, working in any capacity – who would like to contribute a mentoring column, or who might have questions that they would like to pose, anonymously, or not. Consider this newsletter as one of your networking platforms.
One of my favorite sessions of the event was the Keynote Luncheon with Amy Henry, the “Last Woman Standing” on NBC’s The Apprentice, and author of “What It Takes: Speak Up, Step Up, Move Up: A Modern Woman’s Guide to Success in Business.” Henry spoke of her journey leading up to, during and after The Apprentice and shared six lessons that can be applied in just about any path you take.
In addition to attending sessions and networking, I was privileged to meet with many fabulous women in the industry and hear their inspiring stories. One of them, Melissa Coolidge, eastern region sale manager for Matco-Norca is out featured woman this month. Take a look at her journey, and be on the lookout for more in the future.
As always, my goal is to talk to leading women in the industry each month and share their stories, thoughts and insights. If you know a woman, or are a woman who should be featured, let me know.
If you know any other women in the industry who would benefit from receiving this newsletter, please forward this link to them.